Call me when you need to. Don’t call me when you don’t.
For those who care, thirty minutes of television can make a big difference. How many times have I said “yeah, GIRLS… it’s good! But you don’t have to watch it. It will not change your life”. I must however point out that right now, I am in a positive mood: this week’s episode of GIRLS, entitled “Boys”, kept me wanting more and finally put me back in touch with the emotions that made me watch this show in the first place. It did what this programme is really all about, it kept me actively talking about it. In the end, during a season, we are faced with ten thirty-minute episodes of intensity, in whichever direction it may go (last week’s “One man’s trash” took the liberty of taking us into a completely different dimension), and an infinity of discussions.
“Boys” takes us back into the supposedly busy life schedules of Girls’ characters, and invites us back into one of our leading men’s apartment. The character of Adam (Adam Driver never ceases to surprise me) is not easy to describe, as he can seem a lunatic and bully to some and a warm-hearted quirky young man to others. To see him this week, especially while bonding with Ray (the mysterious and fascinating Alex Karpovsky), was a joy. The ease with which both boys started talking to each other and found the common goal of returning a dog to its owner on Staten Island was very unlike the energy going on between the girls of this episode. Their conversations about their ex and current girlfriends, about their age and other women’s ages, were pleasantly honest and made us wish that girls (in the show and all around the world) would act the same way. In previous episodes, Ray showed himself verbally violent and depressed. Perhaps he is simply too surrounded by women in his managerial coffee shop job and needs a male friend, preferably “weird-looking”.
Meanwhile, Marnie’s realisation that she had been all wrong about her fake boyfriend Booth was a relief. At first, one hoped that this represented a turning point for her, and a return to her good friend Hannah. Instead, she refused to communicate with her, not wanting to admit her failure.
As for Hannah, after being offered an eBook deal, she finds that she has trouble writing – a worry that neither Marnie nor Jessa have time to listen to. This was the first real moment the viewer saw her lose her confidence, albeit in private. After so many episodes of observing her self-involvement, this felt refreshing and sincere. Even during the open conversation with Joshua last week, her wound was still hidden.
This episode made me think about the act of listening as opposed to talking. No one seemed present enough to listen to Hannah, who usually has so much to say. In the final scene on the telephone between Marnie and Hannah, they seemed to both be waiting to hear something, to listen. Unfortunately, no one spoke. When you want to talk, no one listens. And when you are finally ready to listen, no one is there to speak to you.